Memorial Day is the perfect holiday to kick off the summer. Break out the flip flops, sunglasses, sunscreen and dust off the grill. Then, use these backyard BBQ ideas to host a rockin’ Memorial Day party for your guests.

Delicious Dishes

Stick to summer classics for your menu, add a new twist to your traditional dishes, or try something new with these tasty backyard BBQ ideas.

Hot Dog Bar

In addition to the classic condiments and toppings, consider suggesting some unexpected flavors. Try out combinations such as fig chutney and goat cheese crumbles, roasted bell peppers, coleslaw, caramelized onions, shredded beets, and honey mustard.

Slider Bar

Consider sliders instead of hamburgers and provide an array of inspired sauces and toppings for guests to try. Serving mini burgers leaves plenty of room for dessert!

Corn Pudding – a Southern favorite

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix ½ cup softened butter and a ½ cup sugar until fluffy. Add room temperature eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Beat in 1 cup of sour cream and gradually add one 8.5 oz package of cornbread mix with ½ cup milk (2%). Fold in a 15 oz can of creamed corn and a can of whole kernel corn. Bake the pudding uncovered in a greased 3-quart casserole dish until set (about 45 minutes).

Slow Cooked Baked Beans

Try this classic dish in your crockpot. Assemble it, and then let the slow cooker do the rest.  

Red, White, and Blue Fruit Cups

Slice 1 pint of strawberries and add it to a bowl with 1 pint of blueberries. Sprinkle berries with 2 teaspoons of sugar. Then, whip up 1 pint of heavy whipping cream and sweeten it with sugar. Spoon berries into festive bowls and top them with whipped cream for an easy Memorial Day-themed dessert.

Refreshing Berry Spritzer and Lemonade

Pour a 12 oz bag of frozen mixed berries into a large pitcher, add some ice cubes, and 2 liters of lemon-lime soda such as 7-Up or Sprite. Then, gently stir and serve for a delicious and refreshing drink. 

You can also set up a lemonade-making station complete with lots of medium lemons, a bucket of ice, cold water, a few citrus squeezers, and simple syrup. Ask your kids to help with the setup by rolling the lemons on the counter to soften them up. Guests can make their own glass of delicious lemonade by squeezing 1-2 lemons (remember to discard the seeds!) into their glass and adding ¾ – 1 cup of cold water and some simple syrup to taste (start with 1 tablespoon). Drop in a few ice cubes, stir, and enjoy!

Fun Activities for Everyone 

Set out some classic games and activities to get your guests movin’ and shakin’. Consider some of these fun backyard BBQ ideas.

Water Balloon Fights

Enlist your kids to fill up water balloons before the party gets started. Then, you’ll be ready for a water balloon fight – a great way to cool off!

Monster in the Middle

Pick one player to be the monster and stand in the center of the designated playing area. All other players should stand on one side of the area and, on “Go!”, all players must try to make it to the other side without being tagged by the monster. If they are tagged, they become a monster for the next round. Play the game until the monsters tag everyone. 

Bigfoot Race

Have guests race one another with a “bigfoot” taped to their flip flops. Make bigfoot cutouts from cardboard boxes and tape them on. This one is guaranteed to generate some laughter from both participants and spectators!

Glow-in-the-dark Ring Toss

All you need to play this game when the sun sets is a box filled with clean glass bottles with long necks (i.e., beer bottles) and enough glow-in-the-dark bracelets for everyone to play. 

Build a Care Package

Provide your guests with a list of items that would be appropriate to include in a care package to send to the troops and ask them to bring a few things to the party. Set up a table for the kids to write notes to include. Or, ask your guests to consider donating to a charity such as Homes for Our Troops, Wounded Warrior Project, or Hope for the Warriors.

Free for All

Fill a bin with frisbees, footballs, or beach balls for your guests to toss around. Consider a badminton, bocce ball, or croquet set if you have enough space.

Use a Red, White, and Blue Color Scheme

Use red and blue bandanas as a flat runner by laying them down along the center of the tables. Add a centerpiece of fresh-cut flowers or a Tootsie Roll Pop topiary (use Cherry and Grape for their blue and red wrappers!). 

To make a themed topiary, you will need a foam ball, Cherry and Grape Tootsie Roll Pops, and a decorative galvanized bucket. A 5″ ball should fit a 6″ bucket, and it will take about 40 lollipops to fill the ball. Make sure the wrappers are on tight, twist them at the base and insert them into the ball, starting in the center, and working out from there. You can also fill small white vases with American flags and set them on the guest tables. Then, string red, white, and blue banners, paper lanterns, stars, and balloons around your backyard or decorate your yard with pinwheels.

Backyard BBQ Ideas with Parties to Go

Parties to Go can help with the final touches for any summer party. We carry a huge variety of party supplies, festive decorations, and serving items so you can have a one-of-a-kind backyard BBQ this Memorial Day.